The Future of String Theory
After Scientific American
The motion of objects is relevant. They do more than slide back and forth. Some of them jump up and down with joy! Others bend over in pain or stare at a wall for days in dis-appointment. Some obsessively write words down on paper; others watch other objects moving on a screen in front of them. Some are captured by a matrix, but most of them don’t know this. You need to label motions by degrees of freedom. Like, how far did you move away from your parents? Where is the moon right now, and in which of its bodies? In detail, the descriptions of these motions would be vastly different. Some would be ironic, in a smirky way; others would be embarrassingly sentimental.
Even the number of dimensions is not something we can count on. We know, from our empiric wisdom, that there are more than one, but I ask you, what if there are hundreds? In this case (or not), that makes abstract ideas concrete, as if you turned a theoretical corner and ran smack into a brick wall, so that a gash opened in your forehead and blood ran down your face. This could be one of the key stepping stones toward finding the essential ideas of the theory (though supporting evidence is, at best, meager), even if the theory is background-dependent and the ideas are anthropic and multiversal. We can only hope that spacetime will emerge from these equations, bearing us all toward some indeterminate, murky future, where our bodies will burst into flame, like stars.
To learn more about Carolyn Miller, please see her non fiction piece in issue N.1 of The Dreaming Machine
Featured image: Painting by Giacomo Cuttone.